Despite inspiring his side to a famous comeback at the Bridge, the England star admits it is two points dropped in the title race but believes the draw could prove crucial
The Red Devils found themselves 3-0 down just before the hour mark at Stamford Bridge following an own goal from Jonny Evans before Juan Mata and David Luiz also struck.
An inspired comeback from Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, spearheaded by Rooney, clawed the scoreline back to 3-3 and saw United close to within two points of Manchester City– a result which the 26-year-old believes could go a long way to deciding the outcome of the title race.
He told Sky Sports after the match: “I think from the start we controlled the game and, I thought, [we were] unfortunate to go in 1-0 down.
“The second half they hit us in the first five minutes with two goals and we knew we had to dig in and if we could get one goal there would be time for us to get something out of the game.
“We fought well, fought hard and, you never know, that point could win us the league.
“A lot of teams could find it easy to put their heads down and accept the defeat but we carried on and worked hard and thankfully got something out of the game.”
Rooney struck twice from the penalty spot to get United on the comeback trail, with Patrice Evra and Danny Welbeck both being tripped in the box by Daniel Sturridge and Branislav Ivanovic.
Sir Alex Ferguson was aggrieved that his side were not awarded what seemed to be clear-cut penalties in the first half, but Rooney was simply relieved that he was able to end his shaky record from the spot in the second period.
He said of the penalty decisions: “I think the one on Welbeck was definitely a foul. I haven't seen the other one but thankfully the referee gave it.
“I was always confident [in scoring] and watched the keeper and waited for him to make his move and, thankfully, I sent him the wrong way. I knew the keeper would try and play mind games.”
Having moved level on points with City in midweek, United now find themselves two points adrift of their neighbours following their 3-0 win over Fulham at the Etihad stadium on Saturday afternoon.
While Rooney concedes that the champions have lost some ground on their bitter rivals, he believes the manner of the performance will be enough to leave Roberto Mancini’s men with plenty to fear for the final few months of the season.
“Of course it's two points lost, but after being 3-0 down all the City players watching at home wouldn't have enjoyed watching the way we fought back and spirit of the team,” he added.
“They know it will be a long fight to the end and we will be there until the end.”
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